I am not fond of my daughter’s new room at daycare. The teachers are wonderful. The environment is perfectly acceptable. However, the other babies within it are not.
I have never been one that is tolerant of others’ children. And in the interest of full and honest disclosure, that has not changed even though my empathy as a parent has increased exponentially. But mobile infants are, in a word, annoying. From the girl who greets my daughter every morning by rapping her on the head. To the boy who hurls things at my daughter’s head when I am not looking. Not to mention their collective disregard for any concept of property rights in their daily quest to dismantle my diaper bag. I am beginning to suspect some of them might be feral.
And then there is the new girl. She is always crying. Her nose is always caked with paradoxical mucus that manages to be both runny and crusty simultaneously. She is always chasing after me. I am told I have dark hair like her mother. Grand.
So I was nursing, or trying to nurse, my sleepy daughter in the room’s rocking chair when a baby, the constantly crying/snot-exuding one, crawls up to me (crying, of course), pulls herself up on my leg, and proceeds to scream into my daughter’s ear. Between banshee-like wails and falling down, dragging her perpetually running nose all the way down my pant leg in the process, my daughter is getting precious little eating done. I keep hoping she, the baby I did not carry, will give up and go away. But she just picks herself up, crying all the harder because she has fallen, and with the determination of a mountain climber proceeds to, once again, attempt an ascent of my north slope.
This cycle repeats for about five minutes because there are six babies in the room and only two teachers. The other children are busy falling on hard surfaces, bashing their heads into corners, and inserting things into their maws that have no earthly business being there. My thoughts alternate back and forth between appreciation for the ideas behind Darwinian survival and giant, baby-sized hamster balls.
At a couple points, the teachers collect the snot child and place her in the center of the infant mosh pit on the other side of the room. Unfortunately with the complete absence of physical barriers or a sheep dog, she merely makes her way back to my chair and uses her snot to re-adhere herself to my leg. There did not appear to be any pry bars in the room, as if there were, the other children would certainly be beating each other with them. So with one child attached to my leg and another to my boob, I struggle with the logistics of a scenario where I leave this chair before my daughter is old enough to drive me to a home. All in all, it was a trying lunch time experience. I’m burning these pants.